10. The U.S. and NATO Deliberately Started the War with Yugoslavia

by Project Censored
Published: Last Updated on

Title The Real Rambouillet “
Source The Village Voice, May 18, 1999
Author Jason Vest

Title Redefining Diplomacy
Source Extra, July/August 1999
Author Seth Ackerman

Title What Was the War For?
Source In These Times, August 8, 1999
Author Seth Ackerman

Title Hawks and Eagles: Greater NATO” flies to Aid of “Greater Albania”
Source Covert Action Quarterly, Spring-Summer 1999
Author Diana Johnstone
Democracy Now, Pacifica Radio Network, April 23, 1999, http://www.Pacifica.org
Host, Amy Goodman

Faculty Evaluator Phil Beard
Student Researchers Nathan Guzik, Jennifer Mathis, Jennifer Acio
Mainstream Coverage C-Span Washington Journal, San Husseini, April 22, 1999
Washington Post , For the Record; 4/28/99, A-24
Star-Tribune, 5/17/99 Page 6A

The US and NATO pushed for war with Yugoslavia by demanding full military occupation of the entire country as a condition of not bombing. Belgrade could not accept the U.S. drafted two-part Rambouillet ultimatum, not only because it was a thinly veiled plan to detach Kosovo from Serbia, but also because it contained provisions even worse than loss of that historic province, provisions no sovereign country in the world could possibly accept. Unreported in the mainstream media was the fact that, when Serbia rejected the treaty, they also passed a resolution declaring their willingness to negotiate Kosovo’s self management. For months, the Serbian government offered to negotiate. High level government teams made many trips to Pristina to hold talks with Ibrahim Rugova and other non-violent ethnic Albanians. The Albanians refused to negotiate, for fear of going against the rising rebel movement, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which was hostile to any compromise and ready to assassinate “traitors” who dealt with Serbs.

Coverage 2000

Most people are still unaware of Appendix B and the treacherous negotiations at Rambouillet. Those within the media who have tried to bring the information to the U.S. news public are primarily columnists or commentators. It wasn’t until September 2000, after former State Department Spokesman James Rubin stepped down from the office, that he wrote in the London Financial Times, “The administration always understood that Rambouillet was a means to an end. Either a deal would be struck and NATO peacekeepers would be deployed to end the war, or, more likely the Serbs would reject any reasonable peace deal and that would convince the Europeans finally to support the Albanians through a NATO air campaign.” Rubin had long been criticized for “stemming the flow of information” to journalists. Although journalists wonder whether or not his replacement will enjoy the same access to information Rubin had, questions exist as to whether the access was restricted by Rubin himself or at Albright’s directive.

The war in Kosovo, cynically referred to as “Madeleine’s War,” remains painted as a NATO- and U.S.-backed humanitarian crusade to put down the “evil” Milosevic. Although it is unarguable that ethnic cleansing took place on both sides, until recently, media statistics reflected NATO-fed propaganda. Finally, “real” numbers began to appear in the U.S. press (long ago known throughout Europe). The massacres used as a springboard for NATO intervention in spring 2000 turned out to be grossly exaggerated, or even staged, as at Racak (see Censored 2000, Censored # 12, “Evidence Indicates No Pre-War Genocide in Kosovo and Possible U.S./KLA Plot to Create Disinformation”), and ethnic cleansing took on a whole new meaning as Albanians began to retaliate against the Serbs. As early as fall 2000, the media’s honeymoon with NATO and Albright’s cronies seemed over. Still, most of the U.S. media supported-and still supports-NATO’s “humanitarian” efforts.

Disagreement even spilled over into the alternative press. In These Times ran a series of critical pieces exploring the “real” political motives behind the Kosovo war. According to Edward S. Herman, “The mainstream framing of the issues in the Balkans has had demonization at its core.” He rejects the popular “liberal” viewpoint that outbursts against NATO equal “pro-Serb” sympathies. Instead, he says, “What is at stake is the real purposes and effects of NATO policy….” Herman advances the conclusions reached by David Chandler and Susan Woodward (Masters of the Universe?) that intervention by NATO-member countries since the early 1990s actually led to the ethnic cleansing the world eventually witnessed throughout the Balkans. He additionally supports the thesis that “humanitarian bombing created more pain and ethnic cleansing than existed prior to the supposedly humane action.”

The U.S. manipulation of the forces that drove the tense situation in the region began to surface in foreign papers (and remains conspicuously absent in the U.S. media to this day). The CIA, it was divulged, had trained the KLA well before the NATO bombing began. KLA commander Shaban Shala admitted to having first met American, British, and Swiss intelligence agents as early as 1996. When the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe left Kosovo the week before the airstrikes began, they left their satellite telephones and global positioning systems in the hands of the opposition forces. “Several KLA leaders had the mobile phone number of General Wesley Clark, the NATO commander,” the Sunday Times reported. (See Censored 2000, Censored #22, “U.S. and Germany Trained and Developed the KLA.”)

To be commended is Chattanooga Times’s Reed Irvine’s list of “Uncovered and Undercovered in 1999,” which included “How Madeleine Albright started the war over Kosovo,” and “Official lies about genocide in Kosovo.”

Sources: Boston Globe, “A Question of Numbers,” November 16, 1999, by James Carroll; Chattanooga Times, December 19, 1999, “Uncovered and Undercovered in 1999,” by Reed Irvine; Sunday Times, “March 12, 2000, “CIA aided Kosovo guerilla army,” by Tom Walker and Aidan Laverty; American Journalism Review, April 2000, “State of Tension,” by Dean Fischer; Agence France Presse, April 15, 2000; In These Times, September 4, 2000, “More Conspiracy Theories?” by Edward S. Herman; Financial Times (London), September 30, 2000, “A Very Personal War,” by James Rubin.